Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Porter

UClass is proud to bring you Mr. Porter from good ol’ Queens, NY!

Name: Mr. Kenneth Porter                                                                                 

Grade/Subject Currently Teaching: 6th Grade Social Studies

Current City: Queens, New York

Why do you think it’s important to connect your students globally on UClass?

One of our primary commitments at Community Voices Middle School is the cultivation and development of tomorrow’s global leaders. UClass offered me the perfect gateway to connect my scholars to other students around the world by using a tool that would increase their communication skills while making them technologically savvy in the process.

How do you use UClass in your classroom?

The Internet puts so many things at your fingertips, but ultimately it’s only as effective as the end user. With UClass, I’ve been able to connect my students in different classes to one another. In addition, I’ve been able to connect those same students to other individuals in other schools.

One of the main ways I’ve been using UClass is to pose thought provoking questions to my students. Some of the students that may be quiet in class, have surprised me by their ability to express themselves when I pose a question to them on UClass. There’s such value in realizing that you have a voice and that what you say matters, even if your viewpoint is expressed in written form.  Just knowing that their comments can be viewed by people around the world makes my students feel empowered.

I’ve started posting assignments on the platform, and in the near future I’m going to task my students with completing online research projects in collaboration with different classes.

Share a great moment that your students have had while using UClass.

I’d have to say, just them feeling as if they have a voice has been great to watch. They ask me all the time if I’ve read their comments and look for my feedback. Another highlight would be connecting with Ms. Lacey’s class in Texas. We’ve just started interacting, but when my students had the opportunity to read notes from her class, they were just amazed at the fact that they were able to connect with kids their age so far away.

Who is your favorite superhero and why?

I have two favorite superheroes and they’re called my mom and my dad. They sacrificed to provide for me and my siblings and instilled the morals, values, character and work ethic needed to make us the selfless individuals we are.  My parents took in foster children throughout my entire young life and my mother babysat children in my neighborhood for next to nothing, just because she cared about helping others so much. That’s the environment in which I was raised. Basically, I was fortunate and blessed to not have to go to the movies or read comic strips to find real heroes. My superheroes raised me.

What do you love about being a teacher?

Next to being a parent or guardian, I don’t believe there is another individual who is so instrumental in the growth and development of a child besides a teacher.  I love seeing the light bulb go off. I love introducing our young people to new thought provoking ideas, concepts and facts. I love playing a role in their growth and development as students and responsible individuals who will one day be in a position to change the world. I love seeing kids who doubted their own ability to succeed become successful. I could go on and on, but I love being in a position to make a difference in the lives of others.

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